Below is the message I posted in the SafeHorizon site this morning. This was Christmas morning. Holidays can be difficult for all of us, but finding yourself alone on Christmas can be especially hard.
Happy Sunday! The sun is shining (whether we can see it or not) and the world is still spinning out there in space, and You are Free! You are Safe! No one will hit you today. No one will break any of your bones today, or shoot at you, or throw the entire honey baked ham at you.
Try to imagine that you have just stepped Through the Looking Glass BACK into your Real Life. You have been on the other side of hell for a long time. You are now back in the Real World and you have an amazing opportunity to write a new script for your life. You get to DECIDE how to live your life. You get to make changes that You think are important. But you don’t have to do it all at once, or even in a hurry.
I hope that “loving yourself” does not seem like some new chore that you are not able to live up to. It’s not about that at all. It’s going easy on yourself. It’s forgiving yourself if you cry out loud. If you don’t have a dog, buy yourself a teddy bear and take it to bed with you, talk to it, hug it when you are sitting on the sofa watching movies.
Loving yourself is being patient when you feel frustrated with yourself. It’s being kind when you feel that you have failed. Give yourself permission to not be “perfect” today. Goodness knows we all spent those many days and nights trying to be perfect and avoid being punished. You don’t have to live like that today. Today you can be whoever you really are, not what someone wants you to be, (whew, isn’t that a relief?). You CAN love yourself. It’s easy. Take a deep breath and say “I don’t have to be perfect any more!”
So, your families are all having a wonderful holiday. Okay, how do we deal with this? We can be happy for them that they are happy. We can pray that none of our children or grandchildren or doggies ever have to live in a home with a batterer. We can be grateful that they love us and want us around them. (Even if we would prefer to be alone.)
If you need to cry, or if your eyes cry without permission, so what. “I’m crying because I love you so much and I am so happy to be here with you today” will work with younger children and the elderly. The rest will just have to accept that you are crying at dinner. so what. just don’t get it in the food.